I'm at witts end. Had this for years intermittantly, but persistant for several weeks this time. My feet and legs so full of fluid, I can only sit at the computer for 2 hours before I have to quit, and so earning almost NO income.
In the past, been tested for heart disease, circulatory problems of legs, salt balance, etc. None of the usual causes. The following does not help or alter the situation: no salt in diet, more salt, vitamin or mineral supplements, more exercise, less exercise, elevating limbs (temporary relief). Blood panels show nothing.
I honestly think it's a bowel obstruction, but I'm not constipated, just bloated.
Since I can't earn enough to pay the rent, I don't have money for series of doctor visits and tests. But if it doesn't quit, I can't earn a living. CATCH 22!
It usually starts when I'm very active and on my feet a lot and very busy. Once it begins, then anything except elevating my feet just makes it worse: walking, sitting, driving. And, though it may go down while my feet are up, it quickly returns once they aren't. They've tried all kinds of different diets/foods. When I don't have it, I can eat anything, and nothing bothers me. When I do have it, no change in eating habits seems to help. Eventually, the swelling goes away, usually after I have a bout of diarhhea. That's why I think it's digestive-system related. It's not heart failure, that's been ruled out, too.
There could be a rather simple solution to your problem. If the swelling occurs after sitting. Look to your chair. If your feet dangle, even a little, and the chair is a hard chair with or without padding, then you may just be cutting off the blood supply to the legs while you are sitting. Major blood vessels go down the back of your legs that may be getting squeezed because the leg is being pushed down into the chair seat edge. Dangling legs pull the leg down harder. The circulation isn't being cut off enough to put the leg to sleep, but enough to reduce blood flow. Blood can't go up either and blood pools in the lower legs causing swelling and sometimes pain. When you stand you have problems with legs that feel "heavy" or "funny" and maybe the soles of the feet feel fat. If this is your problem, then get a chair where your feet are on the floor and the thighs are lifted a little off the edge of the chair. If getting a new chair is not an option, get something that will act as a stool for your feet that will lift your legs off the chair. Circulation will no longer be inpaired and your problem will go away.
okay, if it isn't the sitting, then I will review common problems that cause edema in the legs, feet and ankles. Edema is generally caused when electrolyte balance is out of whack. When there is a concentration gradient,usually salt, higher in the area outside the vessels, then the fluid will go to the area of higher concentration, the tissue and swelling will occur. The things that can cause this would be electrolyte imbalance caused by slight dehydration when walking or exercising. You could try a sports drink while walking. Another reason would be medications that you are taking. Hormone Replacement Therapy, blood pressure meds (Calcium blockers), steroids (asthma or others), anti-depressants, MAO inhibitors all can cause swelling in the legs. Another can be malnutrition, even a low grade without symptoms. What kind of diet are you on? How much water do you drink?
I'm confused. If it's circulation (and they ultrasounded my veins and found no restrictions), how come they also swell when I'm walking? I can go out and take a nice long walk, and they will get worse, not better. They had me try stockings, too. Stockings resulted in more swelling above them and "hang over" the stocking. Support pantyhose didn't seem to help, either. My skin feels like it's going to explode!
And like I said, I don't have it all the time. Why only sometime? This is really starting to make me want to give up. I can't last but a couple more weeks this way.
Just wanted to post an update. I was looking for new ideas, beyond those possible cause that had already been examined and eliminated.
After 2 days eating only vegetables and fruit, and meg-doses of laxatives, this morning my colon is functioning again. The swelling in my ankles has completely DISAPPEARED. I am convinced that some kind of deformity in my colon, which from time to time causes a partial blockage, has been the cause of my problem.
I had surgery a few years back for fibroid tumors in my uterus, and they discovered massive amounts of endometriosis in my abdomen and grown through my colon. Part of my colon had to be removed and resectioned - it was a 4.5hr surgery. The swollen ankles were a problem even before that, since my mid 20's, so I don't suspect surgical adhesions to be the cause. But I now truly believe endometriosis the cause.
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